The coronavirus could pave the way for cannabis legalization in New Jersey

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The Garden State is the latest to consider expediting cannabis legislation to recover lost revenue

Despite the fact that the coronavirus pandemic has affected most industries in a negative way, somehow, things are different in the cannabis industry. Besides sales spiking since the pandemic started, more states are now considering legalizing cannabis in an effort to compensate for the losses created by the virus. This is something that New Jersey’s governor agrees with, based on what he said this past Tuesday. For Governor Phil Murphy, legalizing marijuana could help the state recover economically and, at the same time, help with the racial justice matter that has been hot on the table for the past few months.

Governor Murphy spoke with Jim Kerr Anytime in a radio interview where he recognized that the state is going to need to get creative and innovate to bring in more revenue due to the health and financial crisis. When a co-host mentioned the legal cannabis market as a solution, the governor agreed. “As you probably know, I’ve been on that from day one. The legislature hasn’t been able to get there yet, but absolutely. That’s, to me, an incredibly smart thing to do,” Murphy said. “We’re not inventing marijuana. It exists.”

The governor added, “It’s got a huge social justice piece for me. The overwhelming percentage of persons nailed in our criminal justice system are persons of color. It’s a no-brainer in that respect.” He explained, “It’s a job creator, it’s a tax revenue raiser, it checks a lot of boxes. I hope we’ll get there sooner than later.” The state was unable to pass a cannabis bill on time; however, lawmakers did manage to send the decision to this year’s referendum in November.